Thursday, March 20, 2008

Asterisk Hangup

I bought the 'Asterisk: The Future of Telephony' book to see about picking up some skills in a very neat Linux PBX system.  I've worked as the Project Liaison for a small company in Florida that purchased a $110,000 system that included lots a phones and 2 communicating PBX systems for 2 sites.  What I learned from that experience was that phone systems were nothing more than proprietary computer systems that offered very little innovation and lots of uptime.

Not to mention there seems to be a big difference in how much phone technology can cost.  It must all stem from a lack of competition and businesses willingness to spend tons of money on something they don't understand very well.

Now Asterisk is matching and surpassing the telephony technologies in an open source software and hardware model.  The software model allows for businesses to maximize costs of consultants in a large ecosystem.

My current healthcare provider has purchased a big VOIP PBX system for our 600 devices over 5 seperated branches.  We are just using VOIP at our distant branches.  Our voice mail system isn't anything to write home about and the Outlook module that allows for mail integration sucks and is out of date.

Anyway, I wanted to write down my biggest stumbling block trying to get Asterisk to start in a simple setup with an Ekiga softphone connected over SIP.  Apparently, you need to have these files in the /etc/asterisk/ directory.

  • extensions.conf -- the dialplan file

  • sip.con -- the sip configuration

  • modules.conf  -- to tell asterisk to load the dialplan and sip modules automatically

    • [modules]
      autoload=yes